News in brief

DV advice

Did you know that some UNISON Reps are trained to advise on Domestic Violence issues? Since our last edition of Branch Lines we have supported a female member in this position. For more info, please contact the Branch office.

Insurance increase

UNISON’s free personal accident insurance and death benefit cover has increased to £5,000. To take out yours, visit

Employment Tribunal (ET) change

In an attempt to stop ordinary working people from seeking justice in the workplace, the Government has changed the law so that it can cost you up to £1,200 merely to bring your case before an ET. UNISON members get this new fee covered free of charge. The union has taken the Government to the High Court by Judicial Review. Watch this space.

Councillors increase allowances (…for themselves)

Incredibly, West Sussex Councillors have voted to give themselves an inflation busting 10% rise to their mileage allowances, along with a 2.7% increase to their subsistence allowances and a 1% increase to basic allowances. The Branch lobbied Councillors ahead of the increase, pointing out the insensitivity of such a move at the present time, and that scarce resources could be used instead to save jobs. The Branch Secretary gave interviews to the media also, but sadly the Conservative group voted it through.

Welfare support

The Branch has its own welfare fund, in addition to the national union’s welfare fund. We support members who are having financial problems. This summer we have supported a retired UNISON member who had cancer, and a member who was left with no income when her employer Capi ta deducted an overpayment without warning. Our member was advised by her manager to approach the local Citizens Advice Bureau for an emergency crisis loan. Instead we rushed an emergency welfare payment to our member. We are supporting her with a Post-Employment Grievance now that she has left Capita.

Age of transfer

A public consultation on ‘age of transfer’ is now underway in schools in Worthing. UNISON will be in touch with its members shortly to advise and offer help.